Positive thyroid antibodies and risk of thyroid cancer: A systematic review and meta‑analysis
- Yang Xiao
- Quan Zhou
- Yong Xu
- Song‑Lin Yuan
- Qing‑An Liu
Affiliations: Department of General Surgery, First People's Hospital of Changde City, Changde, Hunan 415003, P.R. China, Department of Science and Education, First People's Hospital of Changde City, Changde, Hunan 415003, P.R. China
- Published online on: June 21, 2019 https://doi.org/10.3892/mco.2019.1886
Copyright: © Xiao
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Previous studies assessing the association between thyroid antibodies and the risk of thyroid cancer (TC) have produced inconsistent results. The present study therefore conducted a meta‑analysis of the available data. PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched for the retrieval of relevant studies and a meta‑analysis was conducted to systematically evaluate the association between positive thyroid antibodies and the risk of TC. This search identified 16 articles containing 17 studies on thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb), which involved a total of 34,488 patients. Positive TgAb was associated with an increased risk of TC [odds ratio (OR)=1.93, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.64‑2.27, I2=67.2%]. Whether to adjust for confounding factors (gender and thyroid nodule number) was the main cause of heterogeneity. A stronger association between positive TgAb and an increased risk of TC was identified in the studies with an unadjusted thyroid nodule number (OR=2.14, 95% CI=1.82‑2.52), as compared to those with an adjusted thyroid nodule number (OR=1.61, 95% CI=1.29‑2.00; P=0.04). In addition, 12 studies on thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) involving 30,007 patients were included. Positive TPOAb was associated with an increased risk of TC (OR=1.50, 95%CI=1.16‑1.95, I2=83.0%). No significant heterogeneity was observed in the PTC group. Positive TgAb is an independent risk factor for TC. The association between positive TPOAb and increased risk of TC needs to be further studied.